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Sharapova, Tsonga advance to finals in Beijing

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Sharapova, Tsonga advance to finals in Beijing

BEIJING (AP) Maria Sharapova advanced to the China Open final on Saturday, beating seventh-seeded Li Na 6-4, 6-0.

The No. 2-seeded Sharapova has won three clay court titles this season, including the French Open.

In the men's draw, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France moved into the final when Feliciano Lopez retired from their semifinal with a left wrist injury.

It took Sharapova 68-minutes to secure the first set. The Russian finally went ahead when Li, serving at 4-5, sailed a forehand long on a second set point in the 10th game.

Li saved the first set point in the opening set with a winning volley smash at 30-40, but made the forehand error two points later to lose her serve and the set.

Sharapova needed only 33 minutes to take the second set, winning 25 of the 34 points played. She will face the winner of the semifinal between top-ranked Victoria Azarenka of Belarus and ninth-seeded Marion Bartoli of France in Sunday's final.

Tsonga was leading 6-1, 4-1 when the 30th-ranked Spaniard decided he could no longer continue playing. Lopez had the trainer on court after the conclusion of the first set.

In Sunday's final, Tsonga will play the winner of Saturday's later semifinal between top seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia and unseeded Florian Mayer of Germany.

Tsonga is 2-0 in finals this year, winning the Doha and Metz, France, titles.

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Wizards have big questions to answer coming out of All-Star break

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Wizards have big questions to answer coming out of All-Star break

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes and Chris Miller look ahead to the biggest questions the Wizards need to answer after the All-Star break. They also explain why Bradley Beal proved a lot in his first All-Star Game appearance.

They also unveiled a new segment involving guessing Wizards players based on their social media captions.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!

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Capitals place Taylor Chorney on waivers, which could signal something, or nothing

Capitals place Taylor Chorney on waivers, which could signal something, or nothing

When the Capitals acquired defenseman Michal Kempny on Monday, that put the team at the maximum of 23 players on the roster including eight defenseman.

Another move seemed likely and the Caps made it on Tuesday by placing veteran blueliner Taylor Chorney on waivers.

Teams now will have 24 hours to potentially claim Chorney. Should he clear at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, it is expected that he will be sent to the Hershey Bears of the AHL. Whether he is claimed or sent to Hershey, his entire $800,000 cap hit will no longer count against the Capitals' salary.

One important thing to note, however, is that placing Chorney on waivers was not required in order for Washington to remain under the salary cap.

Having eight defensemen would mean scratching two every game — assuming the team does not dress seven and after that failed experiment in last year's playoffs, why would they — which means it would be a struggle to make sure everyone gets consistent playing time in the final weeks of the season.

Perhaps placing Chorney on waivers is the team trying to get him more playing time to keep him sharp in case the team suffers injuries on the blue line and he is called upon in the playoffs.

Or perhaps it could mean something else.

RELATED: RANKING THE CAPITALS' TOP PROSPECTS

Chorney played on Feb. 15, but that was during the mentor's trip. Barry Trotz's policy for those trips is to get everyone in at least one of those two games. Before that, Chorney had not played since Jan. 2. It certainly seems like the team was comfortable with him being the designated No. 7 and was not all that concerned about getting him regular playing time before now.

When asked if the Kempny trade would mean any roster moves, Trotz said Monday that he was not sure and hinted that perhaps more moves could be coming from general manager Brian MacLellan. Moving Chorney's salary off the books does not clear much cap room, but it does clear some.

Perhaps MacLellan has another move up his sleeve before Monday's trade deadline.